MANCHESTER UNITED have been issued a warning about a “surprising” new tactic being used by Barcelona.
The Red Devils travel to the Nou Camp for the first of a two-legged Europa League play-off on Thursday.Erik ten Hag takes Manchester United to Barcelona on Thursday[/caption]
Both teams go into the showdown in impressive form.
United have recorded five wins out of their last six matches while Barcelona are 11 points clear at the top of LaLiga.
Spanish star Pedri, 20, secured their latest victory as they triumphed 1-0 at Villarreal on Sunday.
The Yellow Submarine are managed by Quique Setien, who was in charge of the Blaugrana in 2020, and it is he who has highlighted the new tactic being deployed by his old club.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, he said: “There is something that this Barcelona team has changed a lot, which is without the ball.
“The data is there, Barcelona are the team that runs the most without the ball.
“Seems surprising, doesn’t it?”
Both Pedri and Gavi have played a key role in the resurgence of Barca this term as head coach Xavi puts a greater emphasis on the distance covered by his players and pressing the opposition.
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He even said that striker Robert Lewandowski is his “first defender” after Sunday’s win.
And that is something that his United counterpart Erik ten Hag will have to ensure his team are ready to deal with.
However, Barcelona have suffered one major blow in the build-up to the game.
Their influential captain and midfield maestro Sergio Busquets has been ruled out of the clash after suffering an ankle injury recently against Sevilla.